Automobile drivers in the United States are involved in over 5 million auto accidents each year. As a result, over 2 million people annually suffer from some form of injury as a result of the crash. Whiplash is the most common injury received by an accident victim.
A history of disappointing results in the treatment of whiplash patients throughout the medical profession has lead researchers to further investigate the benefits of Chiropractic in victim care. The study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Medicine points out the superiority of Chiropractic care for whiplash patients and examines the type of injuries which might best respond.
Whiplash injury involves the sudden movement of the head in any direction. The result is that muscles and ligaments supporting the spine can become strained or torn. Some symptoms include neck pain or stiffness, pain between the shoulder blades, blurred vision, fatigue, headache, and dizziness, just to name a few.
This study was designed to determine which patients with chronic whiplash could benefit from Chiropractic intervention. One hundred Chiropractic referrals for chronic whiplash symptoms formed the study groups.
Group 1 members were those with radiating neck pain and restricted neck movement but no apparent nerve damage. Group 2 had symptoms of nerve damage associated with neck pain and restricted motion. Group 3 members had severe neck pain and restricted motion, plus had more serious symptoms including blackouts, vision problems, nausea, vomiting, and chest pain.
Each person received an average of 19 treatments over a 4 month period. Excellent improvements were seen in the first two groups. In Group 1, 72% of the patients gained “some benefit” with symptoms disappearing completely for 24%. Group 2 had 94% responding positively with symptoms disappearing completely for 38%. Only Group 3, the group with the most severe whiplash problems, showed only 27% improvement.
Researchers concluded that Chiropractic provided superior care in treating whiplash patients. “The results from this study provide further evidence that Chiropractic is an effective treatment for chronic whiplash symptoms,” the researchers said. Pointing to the results in Group 3, they emphasized that a careful history and physical exam be done on all patients before treatment is commenced.